Style Changes When "Backspace" Joins Two Separate Paragraphs


A

Alls Quiet

I have been having this problem for fifteen years and have never asked
a question about it; it seemed trivial. Lately, however, using
Microsoft Word 2000 (on my Windows 7 laptop), I have had it happen
nearly every time I edit two paragraphs by merely backspacing (in
order that they become a single paragraph).

What happens is that the 11-point font of the two distinct paragraphs
balloons into 12-point font, of "Body Text" (whatever that is). I then
have to highlight and decrease the font.

Since I have lived with this quirk for a decade-and-a-half, I won't
die if I continue to have to live with it. But I finally thought it's
time to post a question and ask why merging two paragraphs results in
the Style reformatting the resultant single paragraph. Thank you for
answers here or by email.
 
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S

Stefan Blom

When you join two paragraphs by pressing Backspace, Word deletes the paragraph
mark that separates the paragraphs and then applies the style of the previous
paragraph to all text. This explains why the formatting changes. (Not all
formatting may change, depending on the presence or absence of direct
formatting.)

To see what happens, you may want to show paragraph marks (¶), as well as other
nonprinting marks; just click the ¶ button on the Standard toolbar.

For more on using styles in Word, see this article:

Tips for Understanding Styles in Word
http://www.shaunakelly.com/word/styles/stylesms.html
 
A

Alls Quiet

When you join two paragraphs by pressing Backspace, Word deletes the paragraph
mark that separates the paragraphs and then applies the style of the previous
paragraph to all text. This explains why the formatting changes. (Not all
formatting may change, depending on the presence or absence of direct
formatting.)

Thank you for the response, Mr. Blom. The problem is that your
explanation would "work" if indeed the previous paragraph *had* been
in different size font, in a different Style (this "Body
Text"...thing). But that's not the case: all paragraphs in the
document (of several hundred pages are uniformly 11-point Times New
Roman, which I have made the Normal default Style). Therefore,
backspacing, should not introduce a Style I never use, anywhere.

Quite mysterious. But I will read the article to which you refer me.
Thanks again.
 
S

Stefan Blom

That is certainly a mystery.

If you select the affected text and manually reapply the Normal style (for
example by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N), does that fix the formatting?

--
Stefan Blom
Microsoft Word MVP
(Message posted via news.eternal-september.org)



When you join two paragraphs by pressing Backspace, Word deletes the paragraph
mark that separates the paragraphs and then applies the style of the previous
paragraph to all text. This explains why the formatting changes. (Not all
formatting may change, depending on the presence or absence of direct
formatting.)

Thank you for the response, Mr. Blom. The problem is that your
explanation would "work" if indeed the previous paragraph *had* been
in different size font, in a different Style (this "Body
Text"...thing). But that's not the case: all paragraphs in the
document (of several hundred pages are uniformly 11-point Times New
Roman, which I have made the Normal default Style). Therefore,
backspacing, should not introduce a Style I never use, anywhere.

Quite mysterious. But I will read the article to which you refer me.
Thanks again.
 
A

Alls Quiet

That is certainly a mystery.

If you select the affected text and manually reapply the Normal style (for
example by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N), does that fix the formatting?

I will try this the next time it happens...which I have a feeling will
be soon! (I took Sunday off from my "boss," Ms. Word :)
 
S

Stefan Blom

Please let us know how it works out! :)

--
Stefan Blom
Microsoft Word MVP
(Message posted via news.eternal-september.org)



That is certainly a mystery.

If you select the affected text and manually reapply the Normal style (for
example by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N), does that fix the formatting?

I will try this the next time it happens...which I have a feeling will
be soon! (I took Sunday off from my "boss," Ms. Word :)
 
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A

Alls Quiet

Please let us know how it works out! :)

Mr. Blom, it happened again, and I'm wondering: Can it be that rather
than working on any old blank "new document," I'm working on a rather
finely tuned template that might contain some macro? (I have taken
college courses in Word and still do not understand the difference
between the terms "template" and "Style"; I have used Word since 1990
and only once recorded a macro of my own and forget how to record one
now.)

If I use the word "macro" incorrectly in my question, I suppose what
I'm trying to say is: if the person who wrote the template defined
"Body Text" as 12-point Times New Roman, can the simple act of hitting
the Backspace between paragraphs cause my *11*-point Times New Roman
(which I have as the default Normal Style) to revert to what the
author of the template defined as "Body Text?"

If so, why should backspacing between paragraphs overwrite Normal,
while simple backspacing within the body of a paragraph does not?
Thank you.
 
S

Stefan Blom

Formatting sometimes "revert" if you haven't defined the style(s) appropriately,
that is, if you rely on direct formatting, but I've never heard of a style being
applied (more or less) at random.

Macros *might* be a possibility, but first of all I'd check if there is a
keyboard shortcut assigned to the Body Text style. In the Modify Style dialog
box, click Format | Shortcut Key. Remove the assignment if you find one.

If the above doesn't help, try renaming Normal.dot (with Word closed). See the
"Creating a new Normal.dot from scratch" section in the article at
http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/AppErrors/BlankDocNotBlank.htm.

For more on templates and styles, take a look here:

http://www.shaunakelly.com/topic/word/styles

http://www.shaunakelly.com/topic/word/templates

http://word.mvps.org/faqs/customization/CreateATemplatePart1.htm

--
Stefan Blom
Microsoft Word MVP
(Message posted via news.eternal-september.org)



Please let us know how it works out! :)

Mr. Blom, it happened again, and I'm wondering: Can it be that rather
than working on any old blank "new document," I'm working on a rather
finely tuned template that might contain some macro? (I have taken
college courses in Word and still do not understand the difference
between the terms "template" and "Style"; I have used Word since 1990
and only once recorded a macro of my own and forget how to record one
now.)

If I use the word "macro" incorrectly in my question, I suppose what
I'm trying to say is: if the person who wrote the template defined
"Body Text" as 12-point Times New Roman, can the simple act of hitting
the Backspace between paragraphs cause my *11*-point Times New Roman
(which I have as the default Normal Style) to revert to what the
author of the template defined as "Body Text?"

If so, why should backspacing between paragraphs overwrite Normal,
while simple backspacing within the body of a paragraph does not?
Thank you.
 
A

Alls Quiet

Formatting sometimes "revert" if you haven't defined the style(s) appropriately,
that is, if you rely on direct formatting, but I've never heard of a style being
applied (more or less) at random.

Mr. Blom, "revert" is an excellent description of what *seems* to be
happening. Can you tell me what you mean by "defining [a] style
appropriately?" Frankly, ever since Word went graphic "back in the
day," I'd just fly by the seat of my pants--meaning that I'd open a
new document, choose a Font, adjust the Paragraph settings--and type.
I have never once used tools such as Format Painter.

I *have* defined Styles...which leads to my second question: what do
you mean by "direct formatting?"
Macros *might* be a possibility, but first of all I'd check if there is a
keyboard shortcut assigned to the Body Text style. In the Modify Style dialog
box, click Format | Shortcut Key. Remove the assignment if you find one.

I will do this, but why in God's name would someone make a Macro that
would revert Styles between paragraphs? (Serious question.)
If the above doesn't help, try renaming Normal.dot (with Word closed). See the
"Creating a new Normal.dot from scratch" section in the article athttp://word.mvps.org/FAQs/AppErrors/BlankDocNotBlank.htm.

Wow. I didn't know such a thing could be done. I'll do this as well.
Thanks again.

Ditto.
 
A

Alls Quiet

Mr. Blom, "revert" is an excellent description of what *seems* to be
happening.

Holy Toledo. I went to the Modify Style dialogue box and, while there,
saw that my Normal was defined as 12-point Times New Roman, not the 11-
point I believed.

However--because I have spent so much time "researching" this quirk
(and you have spent energy replying)--I would like to know if anything
about the following Normal template, and Body Text template, would
suggest that a Backspace between paragraphs AND ONLY BETWEEN
PARAGRAPHS results in the Normal template being replaced by Body Text:

Normal: Times New Roman, 11 pt. [after I changed it just now], English
(U.S.), Flush Left, Line Spacing Single, Widow/Orphan Control

Body Text: Normal + Justified

Thanks!
 
S

Spoonerism

I think I can asnwer this from my *very* limited knowlege of Word.
Apparently all the formatting codes are 'in' the paragraph mark.

Mr. Blom, "revert" is an excellent description of what *seems* to be
happening.

Holy Toledo. I went to the Modify Style dialogue box and, while there,
saw that my Normal was defined as 12-point Times New Roman, not the 11-
point I believed.

However--because I have spent so much time "researching" this quirk
(and you have spent energy replying)--I would like to know if anything
about the following Normal template, and Body Text template, would
suggest that a Backspace between paragraphs AND ONLY BETWEEN
PARAGRAPHS results in the Normal template being replaced by Body Text:

Normal: Times New Roman, 11 pt. [after I changed it just now], English
(U.S.), Flush Left, Line Spacing Single, Widow/Orphan Control

Body Text: Normal + Justified

Thanks!
 
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A

Alls Quiet

I think I can asnwer this from my *very* limited knowlege of Word.
Apparently all the formatting codes are 'in' the paragraph mark.

You're got to be kidding. Why would that be? Or are you kidding?
That's just kooky.
 
G

Graham Mayor

Every paragraph in a Word document is formatted with a style (not a
template - the template is the proforma layout of the whole document) - by
installed default the Normal style. The characteristics of the styles are
stored in an area of the paragraph that effectively equates to the area of
the paragraph mark that precedes the paragraph. Delete that paragraph mark
and the style characteristics are then those of the previous style. This
ensures that when you merge two paragraphs, the style of the resulting
paragraph is that of the first style in the combined paragraph. It was ever
thus.

Therefore if you have a paragraph formatted in body text followed by a
paragraph formatted with normal text then by deleting the paragraph mark
between the two, the combined new paragraph will be formatted in the body
text style

I cannot imagine any circumstances where deleting the paragraph mark between
two paragraphs formatted in the same style will result in a combined
paragraph formatted with a different style.

Manual formatting on top of the base style may affect the appearance of the
text, but it does not affect the underlying style. Manual formatting should
be limited to use for emphasis within a paragraph. The appearance of whole
paragraphs should be achieved by formatting with styles - either by using
those provided, modified to your needs if possible, or by creating new
styles.

--
<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>><<>
Graham Mayor - Word MVP

My web site www.gmayor.com

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>><<>


I think I can asnwer this from my *very* limited knowlege of Word.
Apparently all the formatting codes are 'in' the paragraph mark.

You're got to be kidding. Why would that be? Or are you kidding?
That's just kooky.
 
S

Suzanne S. Barnhill

the paragraph mark that precedes the paragraph. Delete that paragraph mark
and the style characteristics are then those of the previous style. This
ensures that when you merge two paragraphs, the style of the resulting
paragraph is that of the first style in the combined paragraph. It was
ever thus.

Was it, though? ISTR that, at one time, deleting the paragraph mark
logically made the first paragraph part of the second, and it acquired the
style of the second. ISTR that we complained bitterly when this behavior was
changed.

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA
http://word.mvps.org
 
A

Alls Quiet

I cannot imagine any circumstances where deleting the paragraph mark between
two paragraphs formatted in the same style will result in a combined
paragraph formatted with a different style.

Manual formatting on top of the base style may affect the appearance of the
text, but it does not affect the underlying style. Manual formatting should
be limited to use for emphasis within a paragraph. The appearance of whole
paragraphs should be achieved by formatting with styles - either by using
those provided, modified to your needs if possible, or by creating new
styles.

Manual formatting on top of the base style clearly affects the
appearance of text! (I "apostrophe" here because how could it not?)

I had defined Normal as Times New Roman 12 point. I discovered only
after using Mr. Blom's suggestion about Modifying Styles that 12 point
was indeed the default, not 11 (as I had supposed and which font size
I had been manually applying). However, NONE of this addresses why,
when the Backspace changed the appearance of two merged paragraphs to
the default 12, the "reason" the Toolbar gave was that Backspacing
changed the text to Body Text Style. In other words, for months--
years, in fact--I would glance up from my chef d'oeuvre to see "Body
Text" in the dropdown Style box rather than Normal.

Thank you for the explanation, but I still do not understand why
Backspacing between two paragraphs in WORD 2000 would change the Style
not from a manually-defined Style to the default (Normal), but from a
manually-defined Style to something I never even created (Body Text).
 
G

Graham Mayor

It seems possible that you may have the autoformat as you type option -
'define styles based on your formatting' set, which is supposed to do what
it says on the tin, and is therefore best avoided.

--
<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>><<>
Graham Mayor - Word MVP

My web site www.gmayor.com

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>><<>



I cannot imagine any circumstances where deleting the paragraph mark
between
two paragraphs formatted in the same style will result in a combined
paragraph formatted with a different style.

Manual formatting on top of the base style may affect the appearance of
the
text, but it does not affect the underlying style. Manual formatting
should
be limited to use for emphasis within a paragraph. The appearance of whole
paragraphs should be achieved by formatting with styles - either by using
those provided, modified to your needs if possible, or by creating new
styles.

Manual formatting on top of the base style clearly affects the
appearance of text! (I "apostrophe" here because how could it not?)

I had defined Normal as Times New Roman 12 point. I discovered only
after using Mr. Blom's suggestion about Modifying Styles that 12 point
was indeed the default, not 11 (as I had supposed and which font size
I had been manually applying). However, NONE of this addresses why,
when the Backspace changed the appearance of two merged paragraphs to
the default 12, the "reason" the Toolbar gave was that Backspacing
changed the text to Body Text Style. In other words, for months--
years, in fact--I would glance up from my chef d'oeuvre to see "Body
Text" in the dropdown Style box rather than Normal.

Thank you for the explanation, but I still do not understand why
Backspacing between two paragraphs in WORD 2000 would change the Style
not from a manually-defined Style to the default (Normal), but from a
manually-defined Style to something I never even created (Body Text).
 
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G

Graham Mayor

You may be right, but I regret the reference has been lost to me in the
mists of time :(

--
<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>><<>
Graham Mayor - Word MVP

My web site www.gmayor.com

<>>< ><<> ><<> <>>< ><<> <>>< <>><<>
 
A

Alls Quiet

It seems possible that you may have the autoformat as you type option -
'define styles based on your formatting' set, which is supposed to do what
it says on the tin, and is therefore best avoided.

I have wondered over the years if Word MVP's realize that Word is much
more arcane a program than most people realize. I do have the
autoformat as you type option on. I do not understand either the
denotation or any technical connotation of the imperative "Define
styles based on your formatting." One of the reasons I don't
understand it is that, in the context of the problem around which this
thread revolves, I would assume that "formatting"="default" and/or
"Normal."

If that assumption is correct, then Backspacing, while it might (and,
with me, does) adopt the formatting not of the previous, manually
formatted paragraph, but of the default style--Normal--should not
adopt what my Word defines as "Body Text" style.

Thanks again.
 
S

Spoonerism

I understand the fuller explanation given of my 'in the paragraph mark'
remark. And I'm about the rawest beginner there is. *And* using Word 2000 to
boot!

I feel that sometimes it's possible to be too analytical.

It seems possible that you may have the autoformat as you type option -
'define styles based on your formatting' set, which is supposed to do what
it says on the tin, and is therefore best avoided.

I have wondered over the years if Word MVP's realize that Word is much
more arcane a program than most people realize. I do have the
autoformat as you type option on. I do not understand either the
denotation or any technical connotation of the imperative "Define
styles based on your formatting." One of the reasons I don't
understand it is that, in the context of the problem around which this
thread revolves, I would assume that "formatting"="default" and/or
"Normal."

If that assumption is correct, then Backspacing, while it might (and,
with me, does) adopt the formatting not of the previous, manually
formatted paragraph, but of the default style--Normal--should not
adopt what my Word defines as "Body Text" style.

Thanks again.
 
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A

Alls Quiet

I understand the fuller explanation given of my 'in the paragraph mark'
remark. And I'm about the rawest beginner there is. *And* using Word 2000to
boot!

That's good, and I'm glad you do understand it.
I feel that sometimes it's possible to be too analytical.

Not when you have been daily using a software program for twenty
years. "Define styles based on your formatting": what on earth does
that mean? More to the point--why does it need to be asked? It falls
into the category of one of those head-scratching commands and boxes
to be ticked or unticked, when the logical response would be "Why
would I NOT want to define styles (all styles? styles in this document
alone? exactly which styles?) based on my formatting? Would I want to
define (and what does "define" mean here? set as default? if so, then
why not say, Do You Want to Save as the Default Style the Style With
Which You Formatted This Document When You Created It?)-- I say, would
I want to define a style based on...What?

What?
 

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